In a column for El Pais, Rafael Nadal's uncle Toni criticized the Next Generation ahead of the Wimbledon semifinals that feature three over 30 aged players and a 29-year-old. "We should ask ourselves what's happening in the world of tennis, why the Next Gen does not manage to break the dominance of veterans.
The learning process is key. We should tell a kid that he is not good enough, that the court is in bad conditions or the racket wrongly strung. The day where Djokovic, Federer, Rafael or David Ferrer play well and they feel comfortable, they usually win matches.
The days where they do not, they are able to do it too. They are able to deal with difficulties. Excepted Thiem and some other, the other players do not have perseverance and commitment and passion." John McEnroe added: "I had doubts too.
Listen, Federer had a meniscus issue three years ago. He was already 34 years old and I was like, How will he do? Well, now we got the answer. He is unbelievable. That's for Nadal too, his comeback is unbelievable even after many injuries.
He plays every point as his life depended on it. "I don't think that much has actually changed in Roger's game, other than he's been forced to play more from the baseline. He's had to develop more variety, and when he took the time off [to recover from injury and surgery in 2016] he came back trying to be more aggressive on the backhand.
It's still incredible the way he covers the court. Nadal, meanwhile, as John said, just keeps getting better. His two-handed backhand is getting more aggressive, his serve has gotten bigger and his volley is great. I've been amazed this year watching him up close just how well he's moving on grass.
Obviously, he's played great here in the past, but it's been a while since he's played at this level. But his comfort level on the surface looks as good as ever.